Letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States - Call for Diplomacy with Iran


By: Zoe Lofgren, Dan Kildee, Beto O'Rourke, Chris Van Hollen, Jr., Kilili Sablan, Jared Huffman, Charlie Rangel, Sam Farr, Carol Shea-Porter, Mark Takano, Lois Capps, Earl Blumenauer, Karen Bass, John Yarmuth, Paul Tonko, Jerry Moran, Walter Jones, Jr., Bill Keating, Sheila Jackson Lee, Bill Enyart, Rush Holt, Jr., Chellie Pingree, Nick Rahall II, Sanford Bishop, Jr., Emanuel Cleaver II, Eddie Johnson, John Larson, Don Payne, Jr., Stephen Lynch, John Lewis, Thomas Massie, Danny Davis, Anna Eshoo, Carolyn McCarthy, Jim McGovern, Matt Cartwright, Steve Cohen, Gerry Connolly, Ed Pastor, John Dingell, Barbara Lee, Gwen Moore, Niki Tsongas, Peter DeFazio, Marcia Fudge, Gregory Meeks, Rick Nolan, Keith Ellison, Jim Cooper, Mike Capuano, Lacy Clay, Jr., Peter Welch, Tim Ryan, John Duncan, Jr., Eleanor Norton, Jackie Speier, John Garamendi, Diana DeGette, Betty McCollum, Luis Gutiérrez, John Tierney, Yvette Clarke, John Conyers, Jr., Bobby Scott, Maxine Waters, Pete Visclosky, Bennie Thompson, Jared Polis, Mike Thompson, Bobby Rush, Jim McDermott, Jan Schakowsky, Pedro Pierluisi, Madeleine Bordallo, Corrine Brown, André Carson, David Price, Rosa DeLauro, Richard Hanna, Jim Matheson, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Robin Kelly, Donna Edwards, Tim Walz, Jerry McNerney, Louise Slaughter, Annie Kuster, Jim Clyburn, Elijah Cummings, Donna Christensen, Bill Foster, Marcy Kaptur, Dave Loebsack, Hank Johnson, Jr., Dutch Ruppersberger, George Miller, Mark Pocan, Gloria Negrete McLeod, Lloyd Doggett II, Raul Grijalva, G. K. Butterfield, Jr., Joyce Beatty, Joe Courtney
Date: Feb. 12, 2014
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Foreign Affairs

Dear Mr. President,

As Members of Congress--and as Americans--we are united in our unequivocal commitment to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East would threaten the security of the United States and our allies in the region, particularly Israel.

The ongoing implementation of the Joint Plan of Action agreed to by Iran and the "P5+1" nations last November increases the possibility of a comprehensive and verifiable international agreement. We understand that there is no assurance of success and that, if talks break down or Iran reneges on pledges it made in the interim agreement, Congress may be compelled to act as it has in the past by enacting additional sanctions legislation. At present, however, we believe that Congress must give diplomacy a chance. A bill or resolution that risks fracturing our international coalition or, worse yet, undermining our credibility in future negotiations and jeopardizing hard-won progress toward a verifiable final agreement, must be avoided.

We remain wary of the Iranian regime. But we believe that robust diplomacy remains our best possible strategic option, and we commend you and your designees for the developments in Geneva. Should negotiations fail or falter, nothing precludes a change in strategy. But we must not imperil the possibility of a diplomatic success before we even have a chance to pursue it.